Monday, September 15, 2008

Schooner racing

Is the name of this vessel Virginia or Schooner Virginia? Better check the website. Aw, I knew the answer, since we designed and built it. Every plank, every screw, was designed, planned and built by Tri-Coastal Marine...that is, us. While it may belong to others now, it still is our creation.

Virginia winning the Govenor's Cup in Gloucester

Here are the race results for Class 1:

You can hardly read it - there a very close margin at the finish...Virginia by 26 seconds over American Eagle. Yet that is Victory! Unfortunately, the thrill of being top schooner was short lived. Last weekend Virginia was creamed by Spirit of Bermuda in the multi day round Prince Edward Island race, taking a distant third (Pride of Baltimore II was second). Defeat is hard enough, but the purse for this race was $40,000! I don't know if that was $US or Loonies...either way, it's real money. Glory is great, but money is mo' bettah.

The main problem with any kind of competition between sailing vessels is making it fair. Boats that are built to the same class, e.g., Echell's, Lightnings's, J-24's, etc, are all nominally identical and compete equally, winning by superior skill or luck. Roughly similar vessels often race on the basis of handicap. Handicapping or rating systems are based on physical properties of the vessels, previous performance, or the corrupt judgement of inept race organizers. Virginia and Pride are true historic replicas built with historically appropriate technology. Spirit of Bermuda looks like it may have been based on something old, but is really just a big, cold molded sailing yacht. Fair? Hardly. The only truly fair result is when one of our designs wins. (and all prize money is awarded to the Andrew Davis Personal Aggrandizement Fund!)

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